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Inflammation….The Double-Edged Sword

Inflammation Traps Us
Inflammation Traps Us

Inflammation….The Double-Edged Sword

If you’ve ever twisted your knee or cut your finger, you have firsthand experience with inflammation. The familiar sensations of pain, redness, swelling, and heat that result from an injury or infection are hallmarks of the inflammatory process. Inflammation represents an essential survival mechanism that helps the body fight off hostile microbes and repair damaged tissue.

Yet there is another side of inflammation that can be harmful, rather than helpful, to human health. There’s evidence that inflammation, promoted in part by such factors as obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle, contributes to a variety of diseases.

The Basics

Inflammation is a normal and natural part of your body’s immune response. Your body depends on inflammatory responses to defend you from bacterial and viral invaders and even cancer cells. Inflammation also helps the body heal from injuries.

Inflammation is classified into two main types:

  • Acute inflammation usually occurs for a short (yet often severe) duration. It often resolves in two weeks or less. Symptoms appear quickly. This type restores your body to its state before injury or illness.
  • Chronic inflammation is a slower and generally less severe form of inflammation. It typically lasts longer than six weeks. It can occur even when there’s no injury, and it doesn’t always end when the illness or injury is healed. Chronic inflammation has been linked to autoimmune disorders and even prolonged stress.

Because so many health problems have been associated with it, it’s tempting to think of inflammation as a disease. But of course, inflammation is not always a bad thing. It’s a vital part of a healthy immune response.

The problem is one of balance.

As a result of diet and lifestyle, our bodies tend to over-produce inflammatory chemicals. At the same time, we don’t get enough of the nutrients that naturally reduce inflammation.   If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, your risk of inflammation-related illness is magnified. Fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals at a rate far greater than other cells. When you carry excess body fat, you are putting your body under an additional inflammatory burden that increases your risk of disease and accelerates the aging process.

how inflammation affects the body

Diet and Inflammation

Healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and minimizing stress all help to reduce inflammation. But one of the biggest factors in chronic, low-level inflammation may be the food you eat every day.

You might assume that all “healthy foods” are anti-inflammatory and all “unhealthy foods” are inflammatory. If this were the case, the anti-inflammatory diet would resemble any other healthy eating plan.  But it’s not quite that simple. Some wholesome foods, such as certain fresh fruits, grains, and lean protein sources, can have mildly inflammatory effects in the body. That’s not to say that you should eliminate these foods from your diet. But to avoid excessive inflammation, you want to balance your intake of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory nutrients and foods. To do that, you need to know which are which.

What Makes Foods Inflammatory?

There are at least two dozen factors that affect a food’s inflammatory potential, including the amounts and proportion of various fatty acids, the amount of antioxidants and other nutrients, and the food’s glycemic impact, or effect on blood sugar levels.

Many foods have a combination of inflammation-producing and inflammation-reducing factors.  An orange, for example, contains antioxidants that quell inflammation. But it also contains natural sugars that can have a mild inflammatory effect. Likewise, a piece of lean beef contains both inflammatory saturated fats as well as a surprising amount of anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fats. Popular advice about “anti-inflammatory” foods is often based on just one or two nutrients, such as omega-3 fats, and fails to consider the whole picture.

So Why Supplement?

The majority of people would benefit from anti-inflammation support. It seems reasonable to expect changes in inflammatory markers over weeks, months, or years, due to lifestyle and environmental factors, but most people don’t realize that the level of inflammation in our bodies can change after only a single meal. For example, there’s a pro-inflammatory signaling molecule in our bodies called interleukin 18, thought to play a role in destabilizing atherosclerotic plaque. As such, the level of interleukin 18 in the blood “is a strong predictor” of cardiovascular death.

That is where Freedom comes in. Freedom is a Full Solutions™ blend of all-natural herbs optimized for your body. It combines the highest quality natural ingredients backed by rigorous scientific testing to deliver rapid, sustainable relief from chronic inflammation.

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